Sutton Hoo: visualising the burials

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Sutton Hoo sculpture © David Gill

Visitors to the cemetery at Sutton Hoo sometimes find it hard to visualise a ship under the mound. The NLHF supported project has allowed a ship sculpture to be inserted in the courtyard next to the cafe and shop. The central part maps out the finds on the ‘burial chamber’.

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Burial details in the Sutton Hoo sculpture © David Gill

This contrasts with the reconstructed display in the original exhibition at the site.

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Reconstructed ship burial at National Trust Sutton Hoo © David Gill

Top 10 Heritage Sites in England

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St Paul’s Cathedral from Tate Modern © David Gill

Historic England has issued a list of the Top 10 Heritage Sites in England (Mark Brown, “New top 10 of heritage sites maps out the history of England”, The Guardian 12 June 2018).

The sites are:

      • Sutton Hoo, Suffolk
      • Angel of the North, Gateshead
      • St Paul’s Cathedral
      • Coventry Cathedral
      • Tate Modern
      • the Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture park, St Ives, Cornwall
      • the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield
      • Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire
      • Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
      • the Minack theatre, Cornwall

     

What would be in your top 10 sites for England?

Eleusis in Cambridge

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Caryatid from Eleusis, Fitzwilliam Museum © David Gill

One of the caryatids from the Roman ‘lesser propylaia’ in the sanctuary of Demeter at Eleusis was obtained by E.D. Clarke and now resides in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It is currently part of an art installation by Hugo Dalton.

Another caryatid from the ‘lesser propylaia’ is now displayed in the Eleusis Museum. Both appeared in the documentary, ‘The Sacred Way‘, by Michael Wood (1991).

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Caryatid from Eleusis, Eleusis Museum © David Gill

The lesser Propylaia was a benefaction of Appius Claudius Pulcher.

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Lesser Propylaia, Eleusis © David Gill

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Dedicatory inscription, Lesser Propylaia, Eleusis © David Gill

Dog and cat in the Kerameikos

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Athens, National Museum 3476 © David Gill

In 1922 the marble base of a kouros was found built into Themistoklean Wall in the Kerameikos in Athens. On the right hand side four youths watch as a god and a cat confront each other.

The sculpture is dated on the orthodox chronology to c. 510 BC.

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Athens, National Museum 3476 © David Gill

High Rochester: Mars and Hercules

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Inscription from High Rochester, Great North Museum © David Gill

The fort at High Rochester (Bremenium) in Northumberland was one of the most northerly outposts of the Roman Empire. The inscription, now in the Great North Museum, was discovered near to the east gate of the fort c. 1776 (RIB 1284). It was then displayed in Alnwick Castle.

The Latin text records work by a unit, vexillatio, of the 20th Legion Valeria Victrix. The inscription is flanked by figures of Mars and Hercules. Below appears to be a boar, the emblem of the legion.

A building inscription for a vexillatio of the 6th Legion Pia Fidelis is also known from the site (RIB 1283).

These two units may have been posted here, not necessarily simultaneously, to reinforce the northern frontier.

Lykosoura

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Temple of Despoina, Lykosoura © David Gill

The temple of Despoina at the site of Lykosoura lies high in the mountains of Arkadia. It appears to have been constructed in the late 3rd century BC. There is a Doric facade at the east end. The base for the cult statues lies at the west end. The sculptor was Damophon of Messenia.

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Head of Demeter from Lykosoura; National Museum, Athens inv. 1734 © David Gill

Excavations recovered some of the sculptures that are now in the National Museum in Athens.

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Temple of Despoina, Lykosoura © David Gill

A door lies on the south side. This faces a series of steps placed on the steep bank. It is possible that this was an area for those observing the rituals.

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Steps to the south of the temple of Despoina, Lykosoura © David Gill

 

Helikon: the personification of a mountain

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Representation of Mount Helikon © David Gill

A relief found in 1889 in the sanctuary of the Muses at Thespiai in Boeotia represents Mount Helikon as an old bearded man. The sculpture dates to the Hellenistic period. Inscriptions show that it was dedicated by Amphikritos to the Muses.

Athens, National Museum inv. 1455 (Kaltsas cat. no. 640). Jamot Paul. Stèle votive trouvée dans l’hiéron des Muses. Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 14, 1890: 546-551.

DOI : 10.3406/bch.1890.3873

www.persee.fr/doc/bch_0007-4217_1890_num_14_1_3873